N-glycan based biomarker distinguishing non-alcoholic steatohepatitis from steatosis independently of fibrosis
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Digestive and liver disease. - Roma
, p. 315-322
University of Antwerp
Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a spectrum of disorders ranging from steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Steatosis of the liver is benign, whereas NASH can progress to cirrhosis or even hepatocellular carcinoma. Currently, a liver biopsy is the only validated method to distinct NASH from steatosis. Aim: The objective of this study was to identify a biomarker specific for NASH based on the N-glycosylation of serum proteins. Methods: N-glycosylation patterns were assessed using DNA sequencer-assisted fluorophore-assisted capillary electrophoresis and compared with histology. Results: Initially, a glycomarker (log[NGA2F]/[NA2]) was developed based on the results obtained in 51 obese non-alcoholic patients scheduled for bariatric surgery. Multivariate analysis showed that our glycomarker had the lowest P-value of all biomarkers in distinguishing NASH from steatosis (P=0.069). The glycomarker was validated in a cohort of 224 non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients. In both pilot and validation study, glycomarker score increased in ascending amount of lobular inflammation (single-factor ANOVA, P <= 0.001 and P=0.012, respectively). The N-glycan profile of immunoglobulin G in the NASH population confirmed the significantly increased undergalactosylation present in these patients. Conclusion: Our glycomarker specifically recognises liver inflammation in obese individuals which is the main trigger for the development of steatohepatitis and can differentiate between steatosis and NASH. (C) 2011 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.